The politics of everyday life is to be found, time and again, in meandering movements, in making connections across and between things in the rough and tumble of the seemingly banal, fragmentary and quotidian experiences that make up our day-to-day existence. The key point of the book, ideally as well as practically, is to realize that there may be something potentially significant, and politically significant, in the very act of making such connections, of understanding the supposedly trite and trivial world of the everyday against a broader political backcloth. There is merit in sifting the fragments, the fragmentary experiences, of everyday life in order to see how they imply a broader political totality in which they are situated and, at times, cleverly made to function. This intuition, broadly inspired by Henri Lefebvre, is reflected in and through the various and varying ways Porter puts to work the ideas and provocations of thinkers such as Raoul Vaneigem, Gilles Deleuze, and Soren Kierkegaard.
Introduction / 1. Seminar on Critique / 2. The Conceptual Significance of Everyday Life / 3. Retail Politics / 4. Shifting Registers / 5. After the Aesthetic Seduction Comes the Philosophical Guilt / 6. The Old Problem of Recuperation / 7. The Logic of an Absent Present / 8. The Jargon of Indebtedness / 9. Welcome to the Pleasure Dome: Consumer Capitalism / 10. A Joke Explained…as a Jag; Or, Credo Quia Absurdum / 11. Entrepreneurial Rationality / 12. Digital Capitalism / 13. ‘You’re Fired!’ / 14. The Absurdity of Working to Rule / 15. Zombie Workers and the Rise and Rise of the Futurist-Sophists / 16. Political Theory, Events and Their Rippling Effects / 17. The Drama of Philosophical Imperialism / 18. Resisting the Philosopher’s Jargon / Conclusion
Vaneigem and Deleuze rewired for the 21st century. A marvellous argument for the continuing relevance of situationism and a sustained attack on the new absurdities this century has thrown at us so far.
In this playful and acute renewal of Situationism – and overdue homage to Raoul Vaneigem – Robert Porter dissects and disturbs the heaviness of contemporary theory. He does so with an uncommon yet necessary passion for everyday life, as first political site, thereby unleashing an essential good humour against our (understandable) tendency to gloom and doom.